alcohol

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by tomasball, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    We got into a discussion at lodge last night, and agreed there's a little vagueness in the law about lodges and alcohol.

    I can find where the law clearly states that alcohol is not to be served in a building where a lodge meets WHILE a meeting is going on. I can also find it pretty clearly stated that lodges may rent their dining rooms to organizations that serve alcohol at their event.

    What we can't find is any rule that says a lodge can't have alcohol served in its dining room after a meeting. We also can't find any discussion at all about lodges having banquets with alcohol at restaurants.

    This strikes me as one of those times (and there are a lot of them) when we monkeyed with the wording of a law at Grand Lodge and ended up with a completely anticipated outcome.

    Anyone have any insights?
     
  2. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Art. 505 Certain Other Masonic Disciplinary Violations. It shall be a Masonic disciplinary violation for a Lodge, a committee or any combination of Masons, or an individual Mason to:
    7. Consume, possess, have in possession, or sell intoxicating liquor in any portion of the Grand Lodge Memorial Building, or of any building or portion of any building occupied or used by any Lodge, provided, however, that this prohibition does not apply to small quantities of any such beverages or liquors required by existing rituals of such organization in the conferring of its degrees or orders, or in the ceremonies in observance of special occasions required by existing regulations of such organizations; and further, this prohibition shall not apply to space properly leased for commercial purposes.
     
  3. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    That's the one! Thanks. Do you suppose "leased for commercial purposes" includes renting the dining room for a birthday party?
     
  4. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    The GL Law does state that the Lodgeroom can be used by a third party where alcohol may be served. I can't find anything in the law book, so IMO, I would say that if it's being rented for a birthday party and not presented as a Masonic event, then I would say that would fit into commerical purposes, since it would rent would be paid for its use and it was not sponsed as a Masonic event.
     
  5. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    So, it's okay to allow others to "booze it up" on our property, but not to allow Masons to enjoy a beer with a fellow Brother on our property?

    From my limited understanding, the GL law dates to Prohibition and has never been addressed since Prohibition was overturned.

    In our history, Masons first met in Inns and Taverns, where alcohol was served and most likely imbibed by such brothers as Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, etc. etc. etc.
     
  6. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    In Germany, a few lodges have their own lodge-wine or lodge liquor, with their lodge coat of arms and name on it. Wine and beer is very commonly served, hard beaverages often too. I usually begin the lodge evening with a glass of wine among my brothers, then the degree meeting, and after that ..... depends on how long the night will get (often 2 to 4 in the morning) and if I have to drive or not.

    Nobody drinks irresponsibly, but otherwise there is no rule by grand lodge here.
     
  7. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    Another reason, besides my German heritage, that I want to visit Germany. I'd love to sit in a foreign Lodge with whom my GL has fraternal relations.
     
  8. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    The way I read the code: we can rent out the space for a party that serves alcohol, but masons can't drink on property even at that party.
     
  9. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Germany has to offer 5 GLs, you can visit, with about 10 different rituals, including a US style and an english Emulation ritual. Others are Swedish Rite, german AF&AM standard, Grand National Mother Lodge 3 World Globes ritual, Schröder Ritual, Royal York, GL of the Sun ritual (GL extinct, ritual worked under GL AFAM), Symbolic GL ritual (also extinct, but worked under AFAM), and so on.

    Hm, but that is off topic. Maybe you contact me by PM, if you have questions.
     
  10. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Brother Beathard, I think this part of Art 505.7, "...this prohibition shall not apply to space properly leased for commercial purposes." allows for Masons to inbibe at functions where the space is leased for commercial purposes. So say someone rents the banquent hall for a wedding reception, it would be permissable for Masons to drink.
     
  11. Bigmel

    Bigmel Premium Member Premium Member

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    We are lucky. We have a 17,500 sq ft bldg. 2 Lodge Rooms, Game Room, Library, Dining room and Com. Kitchen. We let other groups use the kitchen and Dining room. It is our Lodge’s policy that Liquor is not allowed, other than for toast at wedding reception or anniversary party, etc. may be used in moderation. There is always a Member of our Lodge on the Property when it is in use by non member groups, to assure adherence to our policy and for Insurance Reasons. We feel that it is our responsibly to lead and set example for the community that we live in. 99.9% of groups that use bldg. Appreciate our policy and have no problem. We do live in a Dry County except for Restaurants and Clubs.
     
  12. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Here is my personal 2-cents:

    While it may be okay for alcohol consumption by a 3rd party "commercial" group, it has no place in Blue Lodge funtions. If I choose to go out and have libations with fellow brethren then we can do so at another location. There are plenty of "masonic" groups which allow consumption within the property limitations, and with "image" being everything we are, say, and do we would certainly not want any additonal reasons for anti-masonic groups to fire at us.

    I think that it is also important, especially when out as "group" that we take care as to not wear any masonic hats, shirts, etc. when consuming libations. This is especially critical for those of us who do not simply plan on consuming 1 or 2 libations, and those who can not physically handle themselves in these situations.
     
  13. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Dave, I believe you correctly read the intent but not the letter of the law. There is not one line that releases the mason from the non-drinking rule. It releases the property for outside use. Otherwise Masons could rent the building after lodge for a party called a festive board. As long as there is rent collected it would be legal? I don't think so. I believe there is a gray area where intent comes into play. Might be an area of the code that needs to be tightened up or loosened up.
     
  14. barryguitar

    barryguitar Registered User

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    Parting on the square means Meet Me at Harrys Past Time Tavern for some Bud light and a rack of 8 ball.
    Its a good rule
     
  15. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I'm in where is Harry's?
     
  16. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Nice work Dave. Good information.
     
  17. S.Courtemanche

    S.Courtemanche Premium Member

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    Bro Tom I would also be interested in visiting Germany someday. My wife is from Stuttgart, maybe when we visit her family.
     
  18. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Stuttgard itself has 6 lodges, 4 of Grand Lodge AFAM of Germany, one of Grand Land Lodge of Freemasons in Germany (Swedish Rite) and one of the American-Canadian Grand Lodge, working in US style.
     
  19. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

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    Seeing as we are a fraternity that used to meet in taverns and ale halls, I've always had issues with the position that we should disallow alcohol entirely at masonic functions. As long as it's kept within due bounds I don't see it as a problem. It seems to be more of a prohibition in American Masonry than anywhere else.
     
  20. mrpesas

    mrpesas Registered User

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    "image" is the key word here
    I'll put it in another context that might be a little easier to understand. I am a teacher. I represent the teaching profession at school AND outside school. If I want to maintain the trust and confidence of the community and my students, I must always act appropriately.
    That's not to say teachers don't drink. But we don't drink at school. And when we are out having a cold one, we do so in moderation and without any signifying shirts or hats.
     

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